I’m not sure what I believe about fate, destiny, providence, or whatever you want to call it, but without it I don’t know how else to explain all the odd occurrences Nathan and I have shared.
I met Nathan in high school, but before we even met I knew I was going to write songs with him. We both had an intense intuition that we would create music together. The funny thing is neither of us had written a song before, I couldn’t play guitar, and Nathan had only learned a couple chords a few months prior. Still, our future of music seemed to be certain, but not so clearly laid out for us. Looking back, I’m not sure how we knew what we knew, or why we were so sure of it all, but I guess sometimes you just know.
Thousands of miles, hundreds of songs, a handful of bands, and a dozen or so hard years later, we’re living very different lives on different continents, but still collaborating on music together. My inner circle of confidants is small and Nathan fills a very large portion of it. He is quite possibly my most supportive fan and most intense critic. I look to him often for musical inspiration, sound council, and help in keeping the courage up.
Nathan lives in Northern Ireland with his wife and three daughters. He owns and operates a growing specialty bakery called Windy City Baking Co. In his spare time he writes and records music. He is a free market libertarian who believes in sound money and a constitutional republic. He is a news junkie and (some even say) a conspiracy theorist. He loves good food and hates watching television. His favorite number is 26 and his favorite color is blue.
I am happy to say that Scott’s All Is Sideways album had its beginnings in my little red house on Dowling Street. Late one winter night in 2005, my father Vance, Scott, and I sat up into the early hours one morning and talked through some basic truths like: how windshield wipers keep time to the soundtrack of life and that homesickness compounds like interest as you drive home at night in blizzard conditions. The title track, “All Is Sideways,” was born somewhere between my kitchen and living room, as we discussed the finer points of horizontal snowfall.
I was also there when Scott wrote his first song and when he played his first chord with his fat sausage fingers. I taught him how to play a Cadd9 chord and my dad taught him about writing “big” songs.
I’ve played in a band with Scott and written a few “big” songs with him along the way.
When I left the U.S. to move to Northern Ireland with my wife and daughter, our band could no longer play together, but Scott kept writing, touring, and performing. Through the magic of the Internet and online collaboration tools like SoundCloud, I was able to stay connected to new waves of creative development that eventually became All is Sideways. The songs started out small, but kept getting “bigger,” until one day there was something very close to a full length album.
After a very long wait since the birth of this record, it is now complete, and my friend Scott Troyer has a project of which he can be proud. Just like a fine wine, or an even finer aged whiskey, this album sat in the storehouse for years, developing subtle, but unique characteristics that set it apart from the mass market faire. This album sounds like a good whiskey tastes: warm, slightly smokey, complex, but somehow still straight forward.
I sang and played acoustic guitar on “Oceans of Blood.” I am honored to have been a part of the process.